Friday, October 28, 2016

ARC Review: The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics

Title: The Women in the Walls
Written by: Amy Lukavics
Published: September 27, 2016 by Harlequin Teen
(Amazon / Goodreads)

Synopsis: Lucy Acosta's mother died when she was three. Growing up in a Victorian mansion in the middle of the woods with her cold, distant father, she explored the dark hallways of the estate with her cousin, Margaret. They're inseparable—a family. 

When her aunt Penelope, the only mother she's ever known, tragically disappears while walking in the woods surrounding their estate, Lucy finds herself devastated and alone. Margaret has been spending a lot of time in the attic. She claims she can hear her dead mother's voice whispering from the walls. Emotionally shut out by her father, Lucy watches helplessly as her cousin's sanity slowly unravels. But when she begins hearing voices herself, Lucy finds herself confronting an ancient and deadly legacy that has marked the women in her family for generations.

*** Michelle from Pink Polka Dots Book Blog got an advance copy of this book from the publisher at BEA in exchange for an honest review and she let me borrow it (Thanks Michelle!). This fact has not changed my opinion. ***

The Women in the Walls is the perfect book to read for Halloween, whether you are a big horror fan or not really this is still a great seasonal read. When I was finished I I could think about was how this book is like those ridiculous and campy horror movies that you watch and think "this is absurd and gross, it's not scary," but at the same time, it totally is.

One of the reasons that I say this is because of the imagery of this book. Amy Lukavics definitely knows how to set a scene. You can perfectly picture the creepy old house with all it's many abandoned rooms, the spooky graveyard in the woods, and the vast grounds of the estate. It had a fantastic old world feel but also felt like a place you would go today and be super creeped out by. But then there was also her description of the gore. And you guys, this book had gore. That was one of the big things that gave it a campy horror movie vibe. It wasn't ghosts and things jumping out at you, it was blood and guts and creepy feelings. That is more my find of horror.

The general plot too made it feel like that campy kind of horror. It definitely had elements of classic horror stories. Creepy house that's more than meets the eye? Check. Unexplained occurrences? Check. Characters having their thoughts and feeling effected by said house and unexplained occurrences? Check. Tons of surprises and unexpected reveals? Check.It all works together to make a plot that feels reminiscent of those horror books and movies that you might know and love. It's definitely and interesting book that was full of thrills and surprises. There were definitely some crazy and creepy reveals throughout the book but especially at the end.

But the pacing of it was kind of problematic for me. This book is one of those cases where it starts our really slow and then builds to a crazy conclusion. That isn't necessarily a bad thing. But in this case, and often with books paced like this, the ending felt rushed. It escalated very quickly and then the book was just over. This is a short book, only about 240 pages, and I think more would have been more here. The ending needed a little more explanation and more time to reveal all the big things. I would have liked a little more time for it all to sink in I think.

But I also would have liked a little more time with the character development. I think the main character, Lucy, was definitely interesting and complex. We spend the entire book in her head and it is kind of a dark place to be. Things have not been going well for her over the last few years and she finds ways to cope with it however she can. But then throughout the book there is so much uncertainty about what is happening and that is reflected and makes her seem vulnerable. But the fact that she cares about her family gives her strength. She was a good main characters. But at the same time it really is all about Lucy. We get so little of most of the other characters around her. They just seem to be there and I would have liked to see and not be told why she cares about them and how they are as people. That extra attention to the characterization could have taken this book to the next level.

But on the whole this was a good Halloween read. It was dark and weird and creepy. It was full of surprises and thrills that I really did enjoy. And the fact that it is short meant that it was a good palate cleanser with all the intense and dark fantasy I have been reading. It was exactly the book I needed to read.

I give The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics 7.5 out of 10 stars 

Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. Definitely a good Halloween read that I think will attract people who are both big fans of horror and those looking for something scary for the season but don't really read a lot of horror. Pick this up on your next library run.

Have you read The Women in the Walls? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks for stopping and HAPPY READING!


  1. I've seen so many mixed reviews for this book and I'm still not sure if I want to read it! I'm forever hunting for a horror book that's actually scary so to hear that this one really isn't is disappointing. It does sound like a decent read but I think I'll have to skip it this Halloween. Great review!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  2. I was thinking about reading this one, but I’m not sure. It seems like a pretty standard horror book. I’m looking for something more unique. I do like gore, though.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Oooh nice! I STILL need to read this one! Every October I say I will scary reads and every October I fail in this utterly as I try to get caught up with review books or books to see authors at signings and such...but next year! Next year I (hope) to read all the scary books in October!! Glad to see you enjoyed this one what with a few minor difficulties! Hoping it proves to be a creeptastic read for me! Nice review!